Press-Republican

Local News

December 24, 2013

Lessons learned in 1998 help now

MALONE — Last weekend's weather was stormy, slippery and cold.

But it was nothing compared to the Ice Storm of ’98, which shut down the North Country for several days.

Yet the professionals who serve Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties say that if this area hadn’t been so challenged 15 years ago, we wouldn’t be as ready to take on disastrous weather now.

Freezing rain and sleet coated North Country roads, streets and vehicles Friday, Saturday and Sunday, making driving and walking treacherous.

But area police agencies reported just a handful of property-damage crashes. All county Emergency Operations Centers were activated, but no major events were reported. And power outages were limited to about 1,000 customers over the three counties.

FAMILY HELPED

The North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross was called in to help a family of five on Bucks Corners Road in the Town of Saranac Saturday after the electrical-power box was torn off the side of their house.

Clinton County officials said an ice jam caused the junction box to give way, which meant the family — three adults and two children, ages 1 and 16 — had to be relocated.

The Red Cross arranged hotel accommodations until repairs could be made, officials said.

AIRPORT REOPENS

Plattsburgh International Airport Manager Christopher Kreig said Monday that the flight line was back open.

Some previously cancelled flights were being rescheduled by the airlines. Krieg urged passengers to check with their respective airlines to confirm that their travel plans are still in place.

HOSPITAL HANDLES HIT

Michele Powers, director of communications and marketing at CVPH Medical Center, said the Plattsburgh hospital’s operations ran smoothly during the height of the storm.

“Our team monitored the changing situation and gave regular reports throughout the weekend,” she said. “Our facilities crew worked tirelessly to keep the lots and paths clear.”

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